The shock that Minneapolis restaurateur Jane Lawless is in for when Chester Garrity, her ex-husband, returns to a city that he swore he'd never see again is nothing compared to Chester's own. After their divorce many years ago, he took off with his inheritance to travel the world, leaving Jane with enough seed money to open her first restaurant, which worked out well for Jane but less so for Chester.
Now he's back and penniless, or as he would prefer to say, between fortunes. He's working an angle to make his next one by selling a priceless artifact recently looted from the Baghdad Museum, but it all falls through when he wakes up next to the dead body of his buyer with no memory of what happened the night before. Panicked, Chester flees the scene, eventually returning to cover his tracks only to find that someone has already taken care of that for him, but at what price?
The Cruel Ever After, the newest Jane Lawless mystery from Lambda and Minnesota Book Award--winning, MWA Grand Master author Ellen Hart, is filled with the intrigue and deception that makes it one of the most engrossing series on shelves today.
Although Eric and Andrew have been trying to keep up a semblance of normal life, they know their thirteen-year-old son Jack has been having a tough time of it since they separated. They've been concerned, but now they're terrified—Jack has run away from home. It happened once before, just after the separation, but then it was only a matter of hours before Eric found him. This time, Jack disappeared with his cousin, and the two of them haven't been seen for more than twenty-four hours. Desperate, Eric and Andrew call on private investigator Jane Lawless, a friend of Andrew's from years ago. Despite the fact that her business partner, A.J. Nolan, is now in a wheelchair and struggling with depression, Jane agrees to help out. But after examining Eric and Andrew's home, Jane's first impression of the case isn't good—in fact, she's not convinced the boys ran away at all. She thinks they may have been abducted...or worse.
Taken by the Wind, the latest riveting mystery from award-winning author and MWA Grand Master Ellen Hart, is a race against the clock for Jane and the terrified parents of two missing boys.
DeAndre Moore came to Minneapolis from St. Louis with a purpose, but things aren't going as he planned. When it becomes clear he's in way over his head, DeAndre can think of only one person to call for help—his Uncle Nolan's business partner, newly licensed private investigator Jane Lawless. However, by the time Jane listens to his voice mail, she's hearing a voice from beyond the grave—DeAndre left the message only minutes before he was knifed to death outside a gentlemen's club. Soon his murder isn't the only one.
With Nolan in the hospital, Jane sets out to find out who killed DeAndre, how his death is connected with the others, and what he was doing in Minneapolis in the first place.
Rest for the Wicked is another outstanding addition to Ellen Hart's award-winning mystery series.
Minneapolis restaurateur and amateur sleuth Jane Lawless is in the middle of ringing in the New Year the best way she knows how—with her family, friends, and some excellent champagne—when the biggest financial backers in Minnesota politics break up the party with a little backroom proposition for her father: How'd he like to be the state's next governor?
Flattered, Ray Lawless, a retired defense attorney, agrees to run, and the latecomer's sprint to the state capital is going great until reporters and opponents start digging up the kind of dirt that is more valuable than gold out on the campaign trail. He and his family are fair game, but worse than that, so are the men running his campaign. Their secrets, involving the mysterious death of a young woman, have been buried since the summer they all came home from Vietnam. Unfortunately for Jane and her father, those secrets won't stay that way for long.
The Mortal Groove, the newest addition to Lambda and Minnesota Book Award--winning author Ellen Hart's multilayered Jane Lawless series, is a haunting tale of dark secrets that is sure to satisfy.
Restaurateur and part-time P.I. Jane Lawless is taking some much-needed time off at her family's lodge when her best friend, Cordelia, arrives with news that Tess, one of their good friends, has taken a nasty fall and needs their help with rehearsals for a play that is set to open in a week. When Tess isn't on crutches, she helps run the Thunderhook Lodge, the premier resort on Lost Lake. And while she clearly needs Jane and Cordelia's assistance, she isn't exactly acting all that grateful.
A man who claims to be a journalist has arrived in Lost Lake with an old photograph and some questions for Tess that go back decades. His questions have put her on edge, and when he shows up peeking through her kitchen window, everyone else is right there with her. As beloved as Tess is, there are plenty of people who don't care about any so-called journalist and are happy to protect her, but how far are they willing to take it? And when will they need answers to questions that that only Tess can provide?
In The Lost Women of Lost Lake—the most engrossing mystery yet from Lambda and Minnesota Book Award–winning, MWA Grand Master author Ellen Hart—Jane's only hope of protecting her friends from the secrets that are surfacing all around them is to uncover the whole truth before anyone else can.
Twin Cities businessman Ken Loy is the first to die; shot between the eyes during a sunset bike ride. Half an hour later, Bob Fabian, the rich and handsome owner of the Minneapolis Times Register, meets a similar fate. It was a year ago when Loy broadsided the VW Beetle driven by Fabian’s wife, Valerie, killing her instantly. Coincidence? Sleuthing food critic Sophie Greenway doesn’t buy it.
Indeed, the elegant Rookery Club, where the upper crust gathers to drink, dine, and gossip, is already simmering with rumors–about the murders, about a Times Register reporter’s shameless fabrication of news stories, about rifts in two high-profile relationships. So when Sophie turns up the heat, the lethal bouillabaisse of twisted love, sadistic rage, and insatiable greed boils over. It seems that poisonous concoction murder du jour is back on the menu. . . .
From the Paperback edition.
Jane Lawless is at her wit's end keeping her Minneapolis restaurants running while volunteering on her father's campaign for governor. With an eleven-point lead, the race is Ray Lawless's to lose, but all that changes when his rival posts a list of violent criminals that are back on the streets early, thanks to Ray's work during his career as a defense lawyer.
Corey Hodge is one of the convicts that took Ray's advice to plead guilty for a crime that he swears he didn't commit. Bitter from time served, revenge lurks in the back of his mind. Then one of Ray's young campaign volunteers is killed, and with the murder mirroring the crime Corey was convicted of, Jane has to bring the killer to justice to save her father's political career and to keep Corey from going to prison again.
The high stakes and political intrigue that fuel Sweet Poison, the latest in Lambda and Minnesota Book Award--winning author, and MWA Grand Master Ellen Hart's absorbing Jane Lawless series, make for an intense mystery of ambition and obsession.
Renowned theater director Cordelia Thorn is working to restore a historic theater in downtown Minneapolis that she and her actress sister, Octavia, recently bought. Cordelia has a vision for the playhouse's future, but the more she learns about the building, the more fascinated she becomes by its past. Nicknamed "The Old Deep and Dark" because of the Prohibition-era double murder that occurred in the basement-then a speakeasy-there are a wealth of secrets hidden inside its walls. And, to her shock and horror, Cordelia discovers that there is also one present-day body literally buried in a basement wall. Cordelia immediately calls on her best friend, P.I. Jane Lawless.
Although Jane is already in the thick of another investigation-she's embroiled in a well-known country-western singer's family scandal-she agrees to help Cordelia out on the side. But show-biz is a small world, and as Jane starts tracing the trails of two separate investigations, she's surprised to find they might not be as unconnected as she thought.
With The Old Deep and Dark, the latest installment in the award-winning Jane Lawless series, Ellen Hart has crafted another impeccably plotted, seamlessly written mystery.
The Old Deep and Dark is the Winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Best Lesbian Mystery.
When Guthrie Hewitt calls on restaurateur and private investigator Jane Lawless, he doesn't know where else he can turn. Guthrie has fallen for a girl-Kira Adler. In fact, he was planning to propose to her on Christmas Eve. But his trip home with Kira over Thanksgiving made him uneasy. All her life, Kira has been haunted by a dream-a nightmare, really. In the dream, she witnesses her mother being murdered. She knows it can't be true because the dream doesn't line up with the facts of her mother's death. But after visiting Kira's home for the first time, and receiving a disturbing anonymous package in the mail, Guthrie starts to wonder if Kira's dream might hold more truth than she knows.
When Kira's called home again for a family meeting, Guthrie knows he needs Jane's help to figure out the truth, before the web of secrets Kira's family has been spinning all these years ensnares Kira too. And Jane's investigation will carry her deep into the center of a close-knit family that is not only fraying at the edges, but about to burst apart.
In The Grave Soul, MWA Grand Master Ellen Hart once again brings her intimate voice to the story of a family and the secrets that can build and destroy lives.
Minneapolis restaurateur Jane Lawless is at crossroads. The rough economy has put her plans for a third restaurant on hold, and her long distance romance is on the rocks and quite possibly unsalvageable. Unsure of what to do next, she takes her good friend A. J. Nolan up on his standing offer to take her on as a private investigator.
While still in training, her first job seems simple enough. All she had to do is find Annie Archer's stepfather. Jane tracks down a likely match—a man who has made a small fortune in real estate. While she's happy to close her first case, she finds it hard to reconcile the difference between PI work—finding what people pay you to find—and uncovering the truth, the whole truth, especially when clues in this seemingly simple case point to more threatening family secrets than where Annie's father has been hiding out.
Ellen Hart's The Mirror and the Mask is another engrossing mystery filled with the deceit and psychological intrigue that fans have come to expect from this Lambda and Minnesota Book Award--winning author and MWA Grand Master.
Joanna Kasimir, an old friend of Jane Lawless, left Minneapolis years ago to make it big in Hollywood and, unlike so many others, she succeeded. Unfortunately, her stardom came at a price. Early in her career, Joanna was involved with a man who quickly went from being an idle interest to a dangerous stalker. Nearly a decade has passed since she sent him to prison, but just as she is about to leave for her hometown to star in her friend Cordelia Thorn's production of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, she receives one of his ominous calling cards.
Joanna refuses to let him control her life—she can't. Not again. Tired after ten years of fear, ten years of hiding, she calls on Jane, restaurateur and amateur sleuth, and former homicide detective A. J. Nolan, but they may not be able to protect her from a man who refuses to be anyone's one-night stand.
And when they find out that Joanna may not be the only one on the run, their investigation quickly spins Jane into a deadly game of cat and mouse. Night Vision promises to be one of Ellen Hart's best mysteries yet.
As Minnesota housewives race to meet the deadline for the Times Register?s meat loaf contest, an unsavory small-towner named Kirby Runbeck is blown to smithereens by a car bomb.
Days later, the town?s former mayor, John Washburn, near death from a stroke, confesses to the killing. His wife and two children vehemently deny it, but when Sophie Greenway, food maven and friend of the family, happens upon an old snapshot, a bundle of letters, and a tattoo of a red-eyed snake, she wonders about Washburn?s innocence. Unlike the recipe for a prize meat loaf, this murder is seasoned with spicy secrets and a generous portion of scandal, which Sophie dares to bring to a roiling boil. . . .
From the Paperback edition.
Far from being the idyllic home Carl Veelund envisioned when he built the grand mansion years ago, Prairie Lodge has become the keeper of many dark and terrible secrets. Now family members are dropping like flies: Two women are dead—and truths long hidden are about to be brought to light.
When restaurant reviewer-cum-sleuth Sophie Greenway stumbles upon an old diary, she has no idea it will toss her like a salad into the center of the tragedies unfolding at Prairie Lodge. It appears that being a dear friend to Carl’s daughter, Elaine, has become dangerous. For in a recipe that calls for murder, deceit, sibling rivalry, and old grudges that die hard, Sophie finds herself the main ingredient. . . .
From the Paperback edition.
The yuletide revival of a vintage Twin Cities radio serial isn't just for fun--dealing as it does with the scandalous unsolved 1950s murder of beautiful Kay Collins. But an even deeper mystery intrigues radio personality Bram Baldric and his sleuthing wife, Sophie Greenway: Why has the station's owner insisted on airing this particular case when her son--Kay Collins's two-timing lover--happened to have been the prime suspect in it? Merriment and mistletoe are out this Christmas; menace and murder are in.
From the Paperback edition.